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Early Voting Begins in Highland Park

Mayoral choices draw split in informal poll, but District 113 referendum is a heavy favorite.

More than 45 people cast ballots in the first three hours of early voting Monday, with an informal exit poll of a third of those voters showing that they're evenly divided between the  but overwhelmingly in support of the . 

Highland Park had the highest voter turnout in Lake County for the first day of early voting, with 111 people casting ballots. Vernon Township came in second with 45.

Two candidates, mayoral hopeful and City Council contender , greeted voters at the Lake County North Shore Health Center at 1840 Green Bay Road.

Frank was the third person to vote at the location. “I was the third person to vote and I’m third on the ballot,” he said. “I have number synergy."

Olian, a five-year member of the City Council, is running against fellow Councilwoman , who was first elected in 2009. 

Olian did not vote Monday. She said that she will cast her ballot during the formal April 5 turnout.

“I’m not going to camp out at the North Shore Health Center, but I’ll be here on a daily basis,” Olian said. “I’m going to continue to talk to people and show that I care." 

Betsy Cerf, the mother of council candidate , gave little doubt on how she marked her ballot. “Of course I voted for my daughter,” she said, but did not reveal any other choices. 

Frank and Cerf are two of vying for three spots on the City Council. The others are David Naftzger, Tony Blumberg and Lane Young.

During a 90-minute span Monday morning, Patch had the opportunity to talk to 15 voters. Of those who disclosed their choices, Rotering and Olian had six votes each while 10 people favored the District 113 referendum and five opposed it. 

“I have kids … who will soon be in high school,” said Leslie Cohn, wife of District 112 school board candidate . “I think it's important to have a fantastic school system to bring families to the neighborhood." 

John and Angela Harty voted against the $133 million referendum because they fear it would squeeze their limited pocketbook. “We live on Social Security,” John Harty said. 

Concern for the education of Highland Park’s children overshadowed the economic concerns of those interviewed as they broke strongly in favor of authorizing a bond issue that will make significant infrastructure improvements at Highland Park and Deerfield high schools. 

“I think that we don't spend enough on our schools and on education,” Christopher Boss said. “We need to prioritize to be able to continue the excellent school system that we have here.” 

Some supporters of Olian and Rotering were passionate, while others dissected the candidates’ qualities to make their choice. 

“I love Nancy,” Michele Friedland said. “She’ll be great for our community. She’s willing to attack the hard questions.” 

I.B. Tamarri, who knows both mayoral contenders, gave her nod to Olian, saying she provided more “substance” on the issues. 

“I know both. Nancy campaigns quite a lot, knocked on my door, which is OK,” Tamarri said. “Between the two, Terri is giving me more. It's not a matter of who I like more; it's a matter of who is giving me more positive issues for the community." 

Another voter, Laurie Bartell, echoed Friedland in praising Rotering’s willingness to challenge issues as a council member. 

“She’s not afraid to challenge the status quo,” Bartell said. “Her educational background gives her a much wider perspective.” 

Boss said he considered both candidates and decided Olian was his pick for mayor. 

“I really like Highland Park and I think it's been run really well,” Boss said. “I met her [Olian] at a meeting and talked to her, and I learned about her experience, her involvement long term with the city.”

Miles J. Zaremski March 17, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Karen, "Dueling" in commentary is not my forte, but I can only chuckle in commentator "Karen" saying I am one with "quite the imagination". All I suggested in my comment to which you responded is that all voters read what Terri has put forth in her two pieces this week. I had hope you would too, and then tell me where I am imagining things before putting forth what you did. I can only hope that thousands of other voters first read what is written by Ms. Olian and then tell us all where she is specifically wrong (or where I have imagined things from reading what she wrote).
Joe Wallace March 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM
I have felt for some time that Nancy is the candidate of the very angry voter. Nothing but attack, attack, attack. The comments between the mayoral candidates is so sickening that I cannot believe this is Highland Park. I am a supporter of Terri Olian and she is by far the most sophisticated and elegant of the two. I have known Terri for the past 5 1/2 years since moving here from New Orleans. I know of no one else who has done more to make Highland Park a great place to live. Please, please, stop the negativity! Joe Wallace
Broucka Sarnoff March 18, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Terri Olian is innovative & takes action. Nancy Rotering just talks, & complains a lot. In mid-October, 2010, Nancy Rotering asked me and Marilyn Straus to meet with her to discuss handicapped accessibility problems that still exist. We did. Nancy said that she was going to propose to the Council that a private/ public commission be formed to determine what needs to be done. She said that she would contact us in November. That did not happen. I called her office twice & emailed her. I never received a reply. have MS and use a walker or a wheelchair. Accessibility is important to me, and there are still problems in Highland Park. I know that Terri Olian would follow-upon her commitment. If you look at Nancy's record on the Council. there is a lot of talk, mostly criticism, but very little substantive action. Her statements are very misleading. She did not refuse health insurance. We still pay for her health insurance. A woman I talkied to the other day said that she was voting for Nancy, because Nancy, because Nancy is against pensions. You say your against large pensions, but what action can be taken in this regard. It was just a statement with no substance. I would be surprised if the person who stated that we need less Late Nites and more productive days has a child who is a teenager. That program not only makes the CBD interesting for our kids, but has also given a lot of budding musicians and comedians opportunities to perform . Broucka Sarnoff
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther March 18, 2011 at 01:53 AM
One thing that I have noticed is that Terri's supporters have no problem posting under their names, while, with a few exceptions like Bill Schur, use either first name only or pseudonymn. Hard to take anyone seriously under those circumstances. As I have said, I served with Nancy on the Plan Commission. I like Nancy. I am dismayed by the tone and substance of her campaign. I am supporting Terri Olian becasue her vision for our community is, in my opinion, better.
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther March 18, 2011 at 01:55 AM
One thing that I have noticed is that Terri's supporters have no problem posting under their names, while, with a few exceptions like Bill Schur, use either first name only or pseudonymn. Hard to take anyone seriously under those circumstances. As I have said, I served with Nancy on the Plan Commission. I like Nancy. I am dismayed by the tone and substance of her campaign. I am supporting Terri Olian becasue her vision for our community is, in my opinion, better. By the way, I find it interesting that Nancy is against penisons when her biggest backer is Karen May.

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